top ten tuesday

Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity

Diversity in media is an issue that’s really important to me. Racial/ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and people with lower socioeconomic status appear far less often in books, especially those assigned in school (unless part of a curriculum unit surrounding that topic). Here are a few of my favorite books that celebrate diversity: 1.…

Overachieving

When did “overachiever” become a pejorative to be spat at people while they balance studying, work, and extracurricular commitments? I started seeing this culture in high school. If I got a high test score, answered a question in a class where participation wasn’t evaluated, or committed to a bunch of extracurriculars that I was genuinely passionate about, I’d…

Application Essay

Dear Sabina, age 10, I know you’re frustrated right now—you fight with your friends weekly, you would give anything to quit swim team, and school is so easy and boring that you fake sick to stay home and read. You just want to be in the real world; you crave change and understanding. In the…

Sex and Reading

Goodreads recently published an infographic entitled “Sex and Reading: A Look at Who’s Reading Whom” with stats collected by 20,000 male users and 20,000 female users of the site. The takeaway is this: men and women each primarily lean towards reading their own gender. Yet those first two circles are troubling–only 20% of a female’s…

Finally, An Answer

It’s been a long time since I’ve been asked, “What’d you learn in school today, Sabina?”  It’s a question that I don’t think should disappear as we age into high school and college. We should always be sharing things we’ve learned, discussing their implications, thinking critically about their importance or lack thereof. Today in my Basic…

Suburbia: A Blessing or a Curse?

I’ve lived in the same suburb of Portland my entire life. We moved once, but only up the street into a house with new construction. How first world of us. During junior high and high school I often hated our suburb. I was different from most of my classmates: I wasn’t particularly interested in sports, my…

Don’t Blink

“Don’t blink, you might miss it.” I have a lot of trouble with this phrase. The fear of missing out is a crippling one, and “don’t blink” only empowers the anxiety we naturally feel about not being able to do everything. While the phrase is supposed to encourage us to live in the moment and…